McCormick: Why she chose the W-League over AFLW

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Jenna McCormick will devote her time solely to the W-League after realising pursuing both football and AFL was too much to juggle.

McCormick became Victory’s first signing for the 2019/20 W-League season following her decision to no longer represent AFLW side Adelaide Crows, to focus on her goal of playing for the Matilda’s.

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McCormick won two premierships with the Crows but had nowhere higher to take her success in the code.

She had a desire to play internationally and thought she could accomplish it if she dedicated her time to football.

McCormick has made her endeavours to play at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics public but has not detailed how much was involved in juggling both codes.

“The mental side of it, I’ve said from the beginning just how tough that was,” she said.

“Just basically having to focus on W-League at the time because that’s always been the in-season sport first.”

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McCormick had two lots of everything: communications, pre-seasons, fixtures and it was this she found the most draining.

“Having in the back of your mind communications, or gym programs or whatever needs to be completed,” she said.

“When [am I] going home, when am I doing this, when am I doing that, how can we fit this in, and can we do that around the soccer.”

McCormick said the positive effects of her decision to leave the AFL were already noticeable.

“It was manageable in the end, but I’m sort of noticing the difference now of just being able to have tunnel vision and focus on the one rather than having others to focus on,” she said.

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“It is a weight lifted off my shoulders as well, and it does make it a little easier to focus just on the soccer.”

With all juggling going on in McCormick’s mind, she never found herself falling into a bad state of mental health.

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“There was a lot of pressure and a lot to juggle and manage but it didn’t necessarily negatively affect me,” she said.

“It just meant that I had to manage time sufficiently, organise myself, make sacrifices.”

McCormick’s network of people were there when she first brought up the conversation of pursuing W-League exclusively, all the way through to announcing to the Crows her time with them was up.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own and get through it successfully on my own,” she said.

“It certainly was good to have family and friends and professionals as well in those fields able to help to get through and manage it all.”

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Looking back on her decision McCormick said she could see it was the right one, for her mental health and for her goal of playing for the Matildas.

There is no doubt she is ready to perform for the Victory in the 2019/20 season and back up the success of the club last season.

“I’ll be focusing on consistent games in the W-League and performing well and doing all the things I know will help me get there,” she said.

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McCormick made the decision to pursue the top levels of football after she realised where the setback was and made the sacrifice.

All she needs to do is play her best brand of football and the Olympics will be a given.

Feature image credit: Anita Milas

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Tricia Mifsud
Covering Melbourne Victory during the 2019/2020 season. Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sports Journalism) at Latrobe University. Dedicated to writing articles that sports fans want to read.

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